It’s an accepted truth that travel is fun. Travel also provides us with renewed confidence, increased adaptability to new situations, and all-around mental health that can last long after you return. Whether it’s a stay away in a vacation apartment rental in Los Angeles or a jaunt halfway across the world to a villa in Jakarta, traveling can be a rewarding experience for both mind and body.
We’re breaking down nine ways travel can make you feel happier and healthier when you get home.
1. Roll With It
You’ve made your itinerary, checked your schedule, and packed the bags. Then you arrive at your destination and the hotel is overbooked, the weather decides to be 10 degrees cooler, or the local landmark for which you came is closed for renovation.
What do you do? You make it work and revert to Plan B. Whatever solution you come to, roll with the unexpected circumstances and embrace them. You’ll increase your confidence in solving unexpected problems and be proud of your spontaneity.
2. Find The Joy
Travel can be stressful. Long lines, or disappointing experience can be a drag–if you let them.
Seek out other happy travelers, take pleasure in your new surroundings, and enjoy the achievement of traveling somewhere new and different. Happiness breeds happiness and you will be better for it.
3. Share the Love
Absence makes the heart grow fonder, but today’s inexpensive communication from almost anywhere in the world keeps us connected. Share big travel moments and anecdotes with friends and family over Skype. Or post an update on Facebook to a friend that you thought of during a local experience. Sharing strengthens relationships and increases our sense of well-being.
4. Connect with New People
Exchanging tips with other tourists or interacting with locals is a great way to meet new people. Social interaction enhances our experiences and increases our sense of contentment. The more you interact, the more you’ll feel comfortable in future social situations when you get home. In the meantime, you’ll enjoy your experience traveling even more as you connect with others and establish potentially lifelong relationships.
5. Disconnect to Better Connect
Letting go of your social media routines will help you to see the world around you with more focus. You will be surprised at how your stress-level drops and your enjoyment rises. Facebook and Twitter will always be there, but you won’t always be where you are.
Keep this tip in mind in conjunction with the one above in order to moderate the amount you’re sharing with the people back home. It’s okay to stay in touch, but just be mindful of how long you’re staying tuned in to a digital world instead of the real one around you.
6. Center Yourself
Vacations give us a perfect opportunity to take a break from our everyday world. By letting go of stress and tension, you will start the practice of being in the moment and taking things as the come. If you’re traveling with others, remember to focus on the reason those people are in your life and what brought them into it to begin with. You’ll learn to cherish them even more.
7. See and Learn
Immerse yourself in the local culture through experiences like cooking classes, educational adventures, or challenging a new language skill. Learning activates our brains in positive ways, keeps us vital, and increases our happiness when we find new things to enjoy.
8. Embrace Your Blunders
You’re going to mispronounce words, encounter a social faux pas, or get on the wrong train. Learn to laugh at the mistakes–and yourself. It’s healthier than embarrassment and anger. Plus, those incidents make for great stories to share with people later and have a good laugh.
9. Cherish the Moments
Remember the feelings you experience when you finally get to see that iconic historical site or have a hilarious interaction with a local. Fun and fond memories stay with us, and we can reactivate the emotions of those times.
When you’re back home on a rainy day, that memory of huddling with a friend in a downpour under a rock ledge and laughing will make you smile all over again.
Travel makes us more well-rounded people. In the process, we learn new skills, experience new ideas, and discover new things about ourselves. You will carry these experiences with you always, and become more confident, curious, and well-rounded. Embrace it and you will find more happiness at home, too.